When we take potential families on tours of the COSKids campus, one of their top questions is about safety and security. What do we do to keep the children safe?
The question is actually more complex than it first appears.
Are they asking about keeping children safe from the outside world? For that we have systems in place that we practice with the staff. We have begun having quarterly shelter-in-place and lockdown drills. The building is secured through magnetic security cards. Have you noticed the safety glass that surrounds the infant classroom? Staff is trained to stop any one who enters the building who they don’t immediately recognize. Additionally, all classrooms have phones which can be used to call 911.
Are they asking about staff background? All of our staff has passed a local, state and federal background check. This check is repeated every 3 years. A majority of our staff has experience working with children either in a child care setting or through church. We always ask for references from individuals that they have worked with or for.
What kind of training do we provide? Our staff receives 16 hours of initial training on working with children, which includes training on classroom management and supervision. Each year we repeat supervision training. Staff is required to have current First Aid/CPR training. Teachers of infants renew their SIDS training every 3 years. Additionally, the state has recently mandated 17 hours of online training in Health & Safety for all child care workers in the state of NC; to be completed by June 2017.
Other notes about keeping everyone safe at COS:
• We have an open door policy for our families. At any time during the day, our families are welcome to come and visit, spend time in the classroom and develop a relationship with our staff.
• We work to minimize time when a staff member is alone in the classroom with the children, since having a co-worker relieves stress. Further, throughout the day, we have both teaching floats and administrative staff in the classrooms.
• We practice fire drills every month
• Playgrounds and facilities are regularly inspected for possible dangers
If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions for us, we would be happy to hear from you.